Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

I’m way behind reviewing the books I’ve read this summer so I’m posting this earlier before our usual Leisure Weekend Reading Review…because Pastors need a break sometimes from heavy theological reading!

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.  Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against International Terrorism’s Money Masters. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group, November 7th 2017. 304 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a book on Israel’s fight against terror.  The preface opens up with the story of the US war on terror of going after key ISIS figures but then Segway to the fact that the US adopted some of the method of the war on Terror from Israel’s own covert war against international terrorism.  But this book isn’t primarily focused on military operations (though it has that in the book) but the side of the war that focuses on defeating terrorist networks by going after its funding.  This work is a fascinating read!


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Has the Church Replaced Israel

To order the book on Amazon, click HERE.

Has the church replaced Israel? This is a controversial question and a fitting title for a book that addresses this question with “no.” I enjoyed this treatment on Supersessionism, also known as Replacement Theology. Some believe the name “replacement theology” for Supersessionism is inappropriate but the author Michael Vlach does a good job at the outset of the book demonstrating how proponents of Supersessionism themselves have used that term interchangeably. Prior to reading the book I have heard that the author’s doctoral work was on Supersessionism and I suspect some of his dissertation must have been carried over into the book. From what I understand, the advisors for his doctoral work weren’t all dispensationalists which probably helped sharpened his argument. I found this book devastating to the position of Supersessionism. I appreciated Vlach being conscious of theological methods in his evaluation of Supersessionism especially with my favorite portion of the book, part three, where he evaluates the hermeneutics of Supersessionism. Vlach notes that it is not enough to show added referents (Gentiles) to Old Testament promises to the Jews since this does not logically demonstrate the church has replaced Israel. Even before Vlach evaluate the passages that Supersessionists offer (part four), his hermeneutics portion of the book has already laid down the principle in refuting Supersessionism’s appeal to certain passages. For those who are into historical theology, they will also enjoy Vlach’s discussion of Supersessionism throughout church history, which he devotes over fifty pages to. I highly recommend this book to all because of Vlach’s ability to nuance the other side and also for the book’s clarity, organization and positive and negative argument for non-Supersessionism.

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I. Introduction

a. This covenant is important in Old Testament Hermeneutics.

i.      The Mosaic Covenant is important in understanding what God is doing in different period of the Old Testament, according to the people’s obedience or disobedience of the Covenant’s requirement.

ii.      In a sense, the Mosaic Covenant provides the normative in interpreting the situations in Old Testament history.

Note: The historical narrative and prophetic Genre in Scripture operate as the verification of whether or not one’s hermeneutic has properly interpret the Mosaic Covenant by seeing whether the situational genre cohere with the normative genre.

b, The Content of the Covenant

i.      Mosaic Law

ii.      Blessings and Curses

c. This study will focus on two passages that provides the content of the Covenant in terms of blessings and curses: Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 27-28.

II. Elements

a. Setting

i.      Leviticus 26

1. This is revealed after the Hebrews have been delivered miraculously by God from Egypt.

2. Leviticus 25:44= “For the sons of Israel are My servants; they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”

 ii.      Deuteronomy 27-28

1. The second presentation of the Law to be remembered before entering the promise land.

2. Deuteronomy 27:1-2= “Then Moses and the elders of Israel charged the people, saying, “Keep all the commandments which I command you today.  So it shall be on the day when you cross the Jordan to the land which the LORD your God gives you, that you shall set up for yourself large stones and coat them with lime.”

b. Recipients

i.      Nation of Israel (Leviticus 26:46 and Deuteronomy 27:1)

c. Promise

i.      Blessings (if they keep the commandments)

1. Rain in their seasons (Leviticus 26:3-4; Deuteronomy 28:12)

2. Land yield fruit (Leviticus 26:3-4; Deuteronomy 28:4, 8)

3. Plentiful food (Leviticus 26:5, 10; Deuteronomy 28:5)

4. Peace in the land (Leviticus 26:6)

5. Eliminate harmful beast from the land (Leviticus 26:6)

6. Defeating of enemies (Leviticus 26:7-8; Deuteronomy 28:7)

7. Fruitful and multiply (Leviticus 26:9; Deuteronomy 28:11)

8. God’s presence (Leviticus 26:11-12)

9. Land gets its rest during the captivity in enemy nation (Leviticus 26:34)

10. God’s covenantal faithfulness is not abandoned even in captivity (Leviticus 26:44-45)

11. Set above all the nations 9Deuteronomy 28:1-3, 10, 13)

12. Increase of one’s animals (Deuteronomy 28:4, 11)

13. Lending to other nations, but never borrowing (Deuteronomy 28:12

ii.  Curses (if they disobey the commandments)

1. Fever and sickness (Leviticus 26:16; Deuteronomy 28:22, 59-62)

2. Land will not produce crop (Leviticus 26:16, 20; Deuteronomy 28: 38-40, 42)

3. Enemies presence and victory (Leviticus 26:16-17, 25, 32; Deuteronomy 28:25-26, 30-33, 48-52)

4. Seven-fold increase of the Lord’s punishment, if not repentant (Leviticus 26:18, 23-24, 28)

5. Humbled (Leviticus 26:19)

6. Plagues (Leviticus 26:21; Deuteronomy 28:59, 61)

7. Beast overtake the land (Leviticus 26:22)

8. Pestilence (Leviticus 26:25; Deuteronomy 28:21)

9. Food not satisfactory (Leviticus 26:26; Deuteronomy 28:17)

10. Cannibalism (Leviticus 26:29; Deuteronomy 28:53-57)

11. Destruction of idols and altars (Leviticus 26:30, 31)

12.Cities destroyed (Leviticus 26:31, 33; Deuteronomy 28:16)

13. Scattered among the nations (Leviticus 26:33; Deuteronomy 28:36, 41, 48, 63-68)

14. Terror in captivity (Leviticus 26:36-39)

15. Decrease of one’s animals (Deuteronomy 28:18)

16. Confusion sets in (Deuteronomy 28:20)

17. Fiery heat (Deuteronomy 28:22)

18. Mildew (Deuteronomy 28:22)

19. End of rain (Deuteronomy 28:24)

20. Boils, tumors and scabs (Deuteronomy 28:27, 35)

21. Smite with madness (Deuteronomy 28:28, 34)

22. Blinded (Deuteronomy 28:28-29)

23. Robbed (Deuteronomy 28:29)

24. Dishonored among the nations (Deuteronomy 28:37, 43-44)

25. Forced to borrow from Gentiles (Deuteronomy 28:44)

d. Requirement (Commandments and prohibition)

i.      No idols (Leviticus 26:1, Deuteronomy 27:15)

ii.      Sabbath keeping (Leviticus 26:2)

iii.      Write the law on a lime stone at Mount Ebal (Deuteronomy 27:2-4, 8)

iv.      Build an altar for sacrifice to Yahweh in promise land (Deuteronomy 27:5-7)

v.      Prohibited from dishonoring parents (Deuteronomy 27:16)

vi.      Prohibited from moving neighbor’s boundary marker (Deuteronomy 27:17)

vii.      Prohibited from misguiding blind (Deuteronomy 27:18)

viii.      Prohibited from distorting social justice (Deuteronomy 27:19)

ix.      Prohibited from various sexual immorality (Deuteronomy 27:20-23)

x.      Prohibited from striking neighbor secretly (Deuteronomy 27:24)

xi.      Prohibited from accepting bribe to strike an innocent (Deuteronomy 27:25)

e. Signs

Curses themselves: “They shall become a sign and a wonder on you and your descendants forever.  Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things…” (Deuteronomy 28:46-47)


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